Monday 9 April 2012

Artichoke and Brie Dip! Easter table arrangement!

Sweet One's beautiful Easter table! She bought pastel jelly beans at Target, and just before the guests arrived, we pushed the daffodils into the jelly beans. Cut perfect, so, that guests could see each other.

Happy Day-After-Easter! How was your weekend? Did you dye Easter eggs? Did you eat chocolate? Did you eat ham? Did you make my Scalloped potatoes? YUM YUM! 

Speaking of Easter ham: they’re scrumptious, aren’t they?  The thing about Easter hams, though, is that they’re enormous. And you often have a lot leftover. This is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover ham.  If you have some left over scalloped potatoes, just add some grated cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese and some diced ham to the left over scalloped potatoes. Top with some cheese and bake or microwave to heat up and melt the cheeses. Breakfast done!! If you don't have left over scalloped potatoes, you can make them and add the above ingredients. Recipe in my archives, "Quick as a bunny, Scallop Potatoes", April 4. 

As promised we had a wine tasting, during the appetizer segment of our Easter celebration. We had a lovely Brie and artichoke appetizer and  baked parmesan asparagus fries with a lemon garlic aioli, that I made. My daughter Holly made the best stuffed mushroom we, as a group, had ever tasted. Stuffed mushrooms have been popular for 40 years or more, but, she put a twist on them. I would go on and on, but, you would be mad at me, as I have yet to get the specific recipe from her!! When I asked, she said, " Oh, I thought about who was coming, and added a little of this, and a little of that!" There were nine of us, and I'm guessing, 30 of these little scrumptious bella mushrooms, every one of them disappeared! I will keep working to feature her and that recipe soon!!

Holly, she is a natural in the kitchen!

   My featured wine, Mer Soleil. Served with Brie and Artichoke dip. Did not disappoint. Taster's all agreed this is crisp, easy drinking, and went well with the appetizers.

2010 Unoaked  Mer Soleil "Silver"Chardonnay Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points  $22.00

Silver captures the crisp, pure, mineral essence of the classic Chablis style with the tropical elements found in Chardonnays of the Pacific coastline.
Using Chardonnay grown in special blocks of the Mer Soleil Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, they harvest the grapes when just fully ripe, their gold color hued with green, expressing clean aromas of Chardonnay fruit and firm acidity.
The grapes were pressed and fermented in both stainless steel and natural cement tanks imported from France.
Tasting notes:
Mer Soleil's Chardonnay grapes dependably get so ripe, they offer explosive flavors even without the oak. You won't miss a thing without the barrel. The pineapple, orange and golden mango flavors are delicious on their own, and even offer a hint of vanilla. A mouth wateringly fresh squeeze of acidity makes everything bright and clean.  
*Mer Soleil can be ordered from, click on the icon in the right column. Remember, they offer free shipping with any 12 bottles! 
                                      Artichoke and Brie dip
1 can (about 1 1/2 c.) roughly chopped artichokes, marinated
1 wedge of Brie (6 ounces)
1 cup grated parmesan
3/4 lb. cream cheese
1 T. minced garlic
1 bunch chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
 Preheat oven to 325 F. Remove the rind from the Brie and cube. Mix everything together well and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top before baking. Bake at 325 F. for 25-30 minutes.

Serve warm with crackers. 
*Can be made ahead and reheated.
My beautiful 91 year old Mother, with Sweet One. Mom is cutting the cheese squares to put on a toothpick and poke into the 50 year old snail, that my Aunt Gail made. It is ceramic and was given to me from my Mom, it makes me smile, as it reminds me of my childhood. The baked Brie and Artichoke dip is in the baking dish.
                                    Easter at Amy and Dustin's
Started with Easter service at Eastridge in Issaquah. We all enjoyed an uplifting service.
 Spring, yo! Totally in full effect, here in the Pacific Northwest. I seriously had ignored it,  until yesterday, when I saw all of the women dressed to the nines, and sporting a very cute set of bunny ears on the top of their heads. And then, it hit me: Spring has totally sprung–it’s here! 
TT (my son) on his new John Deer, thatching the lawn, the pups wanted a ride!
The Easter bunny came and hid eggs filled with treats for the pups!

The pups loved the egg hunt and caught right on. Bentley would get the plastic egg in his mouth, pop it open, spit it out and eat the little treat!! 

We had a great time watching them!

My son in law, Nate Dogg! (name= UW business school grad, wife is Holly)And Emma their dog.

Bunny's strategizing! 

I took many, many pictures, so many my new camera battery went dead!! I used the Iphone and my son took some for me, with his really nice camera. More to come, and for my friends on FB, I will post many more.

Wee Bear setting the tables.

One more of the doggie egg hunt, pictured, Mike (Nate Dogg's Dad) and Wee Bear.


  1. Looks like you had a fabulous Easter. I love the daffodil centerpiece! And what a great idea to have an egg hunt for the pups. Maggie and Tucker are jealous!

  2. Haha! We didn't know how the hunt would go, but, it beat our best expectations! We really had some great cocktail hour entertainment! TT and I thought if we got a treat that had a strong aroma, they would catch on, mission accomplished! Bentley was hilarious! Daffodil centerpiece was inexpensive and easy, BIG bang for the buck!

  3. What a fun family you have! Moose, Bandit and Bently looked like they were having a blast figuring out how to find and crack their eggs:) What a great idea to have a doggie Easter egg hunt!!! I LOVE IT:)

    1. We so love our doggies! We are your biggest fans Janice! Every time I go hiking I am stopped and tell all about the breed and where they came from. They are so smart!! The three of them and Beamer(Dustin and Amy's chihuahua) had an overnight, while Wee Bear and I delivered an Ipad (with face time ability)to our son and Daughter in law in Portland (they are expecting any minute). The boys had a blast out gardening with Amy, she sent us video, so cute. They were worn out!! We had so much fun on Easter, as did the boys!

    2. Thank you Joan for sharing with those you meet about our Russell Terriers. As you know, we are totally smitten with them! I can't imagine life without their companionship and added daily humor. Tom and I have had to start spelling out words in our conversations at times. Especially the word B-A-N-K as they love to race to the car if it is mentioned that we are going there. They are totally intrigued by that magic drawer that comes out of the wall and gives them doggie biscuits!

  4. I love all these pictures! It was a great weekend and can't wait for summer!

    1. The August 1, dinner with Chef Jason cooking at our home, will be one of the highlights!


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